Trip preparation


I am about to embark on a trip with my daughter to do a little fly fishing over about a month. It is a great opportunity for a dad and one of those things that are on a bucket list of things to do after you retire.

So, I will be chronicling our trip for those of you readers that may want to travel a bit. We will be roughing it quite often with occasional motel nights thrown in for dad’s sanity.

The planning for this trip has been pretty much all of my daughter’s. It is after all her trip. While my daughter is doing most of the trip planning, I have been researching sport fishing license fees. Resident fees are always pretty inexpensive, as they are in California. However, non-resident fees can be quite expensive. Depending on how many states we fish, that could be one of our biggest expenses on the trip. Most daily fees seem to hover around $14 per day. Consider paying these for over a three- or four-week period. It can get pretty costly.

Camping fees should be modest, and nights at a motel will be the other costly item. My daughter is treating this trip like a young person’s trout bum trip. I, on the other hand, like a few conveniences, so I am guessing it will be a mixture of both of our lifestyles.

The good news is that we will be traveling together and fly fishing in some pretty fabled waters. I am hoping that many of you have or will do the same in years to come.

My experiences fishing out of state have been good ones. The fishing always seems easy compared to my home water, the Truckee River. I have always said that a person that can have success in the Truckee River will do well just about anywhere in the world.

I am not sure why this is the case, but there could be a couple of reasons. One is the fact that out-of-state waters are managed differently than our waters. Some waters are periodically closed to fishing, which tends to rest them and make fish a bit less spooky. Our California waters get pressured a lot. The Little Truckee River in our area is a great example. This is one stream, in my opinion, that could stand to be closed for at least the winter season.

The second reason could be the species of fish. Cutthroats that are native to many of the states’ waters that we will be visiting tend to be easier fish to catch. Apparently, they are not as high on the IQ chart as your brown and rainbow trout.

Whatever the reason, once you find the fly that the fish are interested, it has been my experience that fish can be caught at an amazing rate in out-of-state waters. I am looking forward to having my daughter experience this for the first time.

My other challenge will be to get the columns submitted each week. Here, I am relying on my technical savvy daughter. Keep an eye on our travels over the course of the next several weeks.


(See Sightseeing for water levels.)

Boca | Inflow is at 41 cfs and the outflow is 21 cfs. Try powerbait or nightcrawlers. Throwing lures from shore also has been working. Fly fishers have been catching some fish near the inlet mostly nymphing.

Donner Lake | Fishing has been good. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the bait of choice. Mackinaw and Kokanee fishing has been fair. Fly fishermen are catching some fish with streamers.

Lake Tahoe | (Lake Tahoe tributaries are only open July 1 to Sept. 30.) Fishing has been fair to good for mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Most shore fishermen use inflated nightcrawlers.

Little Truckee River | The flow is now at 41 cfs This is an extremely low flow for this water. It is barely a subsistence flow for this fishery. Fishing will be tougher at this level. Try a hopper dropper set-up, now that grasshoppers are active, or some other dry dropper set-up.

Martis Lake | Zero kill. Catch and Release only with barbless artificial lures or flies. Some small cutthroats and an occasional large brown and rainbow may still be caught here. Smallmouth bass also have been introduced in this water.

Prosser | The lake is fishing fair to good. Powerbait and nightcrawlers are the best bait. Smallmouth Bass are beginning to bite well with the warming water. Lure and fly fishermen also are taking some fish from shore and near the inlets.

Stampede | Fishing has been fair to good from shore. Kokanee fishing has been fair. Mackinaw fishing has been good. Smallmouth Bass are beginning to get active. Fly fishermen have been doing well near the inlets with nymphs and streamers for trout and in the coves for Smallmouth Bass.

Truckee River | Flowing out of the lake at 388 cfs at Tahoe City. These flows have increased recently. The flow through Truckee is at 357 cfs as of July 7. Fish have been caught on nymphs, emergers, dries and streamers. The main hatches now are Caddis, PMD and Little Yellow Stones. Nymphs and dries imitating these hatches have been the most productive. Streamers also have been good. A hopper dropper set-up should start working now that grasshoppers are becoming active. Warm weather is causing the water to warm into the 70s by the evening. Try and fish early in the morning to mid-day for the best results while the water temperatures are acceptable.

Other Waters | Davis and Frenchman have been fair to good. Damselflies are now beginning to show is good numbers with the recent warm weather. Fish also are being caught on blood midge patterns and Callibaetis imitations.

Bruce is a long-time area fly fisherman and past president of Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers. 

Bruce Ajari
Bruce Ajari is a long-time area fly-fisherman and past president of Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers.